Saturday, 29 May 2010

GPTU reiterates support for BA strikers

GPTU still supports British Airways cabin staffing their dispute.The threat by management to worsen their pay, their conditions and cut back on jobs is something which organised workers are right to resist. This is especially so in a climate where employers are mounting attacks on workers, if BA management get their way many other workers, in other industries could be the next to suffer.

As Greens we are critical of the aviation industry and we do believe its polluting activities need to be cut back, but we are committed to a JUST transition to a low carbon economy, not one where workers are made to suffer for problems which are not of their making. BA managements and all other employers should be negotiating with Unions and governments to ensure that the changes necessary to prevent disastrous damage caused by climate change can take place without workers being exploited.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

No more Academies, No 'Free' Schools

No more Academies, No 'Free' Schools

The Coalition government is rushing through its Academies Bill this Wednesday, 26thMay.

It will open the way for Swedish style 'Free' schools.

It will allow 'Outstanding' schools to become Academies, and prevent Local Authorities standing in the way.

This is a huge attack on the State Education system.

Join the Anti Academies Alliance protest this Wednesday, 1pm, College Green, opposite Parliament.

Please let the Anti Academies Alliance office know if you can come –, 07528 201 697

Please forward this message far and wide.

Friday, 14 May 2010


Tuesday, 25 May 2010 at 19:30 - 21:30
in the Auditorium,Brighthelm Centre
North Road (corner of Queens Rd),5 mins from Brighton station

SUSSEX UCU (currently striking for jobs)
BRIGHTON RMT (currently balloting for jobs)
NUT (currently boycotting the SATS tests)
BRIGHTON AND HOVE UNISON (meeting organisers)

plus Brighton Benefits Campaign, & Greek activist

With the Tories now in office and promising attacks on jobs and services not seen since the 1930s,Brighton and Hove unison is hosting this public meeting. Its aim is to bring together all those prepared to support trade unionists at the frontline of resisting the coming Tory onslaught.

* We need to prepare now to give whatever support we can to each other as our working conditions,pay,jobs,and services are attacked over the next year.
* We need to strengthen networks of support so that no group of workers is left to resist the cuts alone.
* We can also ask local political representatives, including Caroline Lucas, what they are going to do to help us.

Our last meetings were a great success with 60-70 hearing GMB reps from the bin depot,the RMT,Unite at Edwards Engineering,Sussex UCU and the FBU put their case. As with previous meetings,there will be plenty of time to organise solidarity with existing stikers - particularly BA cabin crew.

It will also be a good opportunity to meet informally with local union activists,including the growing local trades council who are supporting this meeting.
Pip Tindall
Brighton & Hove Green Party
Brighton Workers Solidarity Group
Brighton Benefits Campaign

Middlesex University Occupation

Open letter to Middlesex staff, faculty, and students

Dear Middlesex University staff, faculty, and students,

We are writing to clarify our intentions and the purpose behind occupying The Mansion Building at Middlesex University.

Last week we were shocked at the news that the administration intends to close the Philosophy Department, including the world-renowned post-graduate programmes. While saving the philosophy department is our primary aim, we realize that this specific closure is evidence of a much broader trend in higher education. We want to be absolutely clear that we are doing this not out of self-interest, but to advocate for you, the students, faculty and staff of Middlesex University, as well all of those who care about the future of humanities in the UK.

As Terry Eagleton put it at a teach-in at Kings College London in March, what we are currently experiencing is a move towards a model of “education for the economy versus education for society.” The university administrations are using the current financial crisis as an excuse to restructure their institutions, opting to close or severely cap any programmes that are not sufficiently “economically viable” according to their criteria. With a slew of cuts and redundancies, our universities are in danger of becoming vocational training centers that churn out a highly skilled, yet intellectually and culturally impoverished work force.

Here at Middlesex, the History department was closed in 2006. Now it is Philosophy and Sonic Arts. With the plans to close Trent Park and Cat Hill, it is realistic to anticipate more closures in the humanities. We are here to communicate that your jobs, your studies are not safe. We are here to communicate that we will not take these closures lying down.

Our protest and occupation is peaceful. The administration has called the police out to Trent Park twice; both times they left within a half hour, having decided that no laws were being broken and their presence was not necessary. The occupation has not interrupted the studies of any students and we encourage you, whether you are officially tied to Middlesex or not, to join or visit us here. This is an open, safe space and everyone will be warmly welcomed. We are organizing various cultural, political and academic events over the weekend. You are all invited to participate. Information about this can be found at:

Universities are not businesses, and education is not a commodity – it is a human right and a public service.  Education did not cause this crisis, and must not be sacrificed to pay for it.  Anonymous messages of support continue to come in from staff and we stand united against management’s program of slash and burn.

In solidarity,

The Occupation

Sunday, 9 May 2010


The Government claims that it is spending £5 billion on ‘helping the unemployed’ during the recession, but this money isn’t being used to create new jobs. Instead is being used as handouts to New Labour’s business friends through the ‘Flexible New Deal’, the government’s flagship scheme for the long term unemployed which came into effect in October 2009.   Everyone who has been unemployed for over a year will now be forced to take part in this scheme or lose their benefits. They will be on this scheme for a year. After 6 months they will have to take part in one month of working 40 hours a week for their benefits. This is a significant attack on the minimum wage as it means claimants will be working for £1.60 an hour.

Across the country private companies have been given lucrative contracts to make the unemployed jump through hoops and compete for non-existent jobs. In Brighton the Flexible New Deal is being run by Maximus, Skills Training UK Ltd and Careers Development Group. Apart from the people employed by these companies the privately run schemes will not create any new jobs nor do they offer any funding or training to help the unemployed find work. Instead their aims are profit driven – they must get the unemployed into any crap job as soon as possible because their payments are based on results.

The Flexible New Deal isn’t just an attack on the unemployed however, it is also an attack on those in work. Forcing more people to compete for the scarce jobs on offer creates downward pressure on wages. This is what Britain’s flexible labour market means – a race to the bottom in wages & conditions.

Brighton Benefits Campaign is fighting back against these attacks & has launched a campaign against the Flexible New Deal.  Our next picket against the companies involved will be on Wednesday 12 May. Join us!

On June 16th we will be taking part in the National Day of Action against the Flexible New Deal & Workfare. More details to come.
Pip Tindall
Brighton & Hove Green Party
Brighton Workers Solidarity Group
Brighton Benefits Campaign

Thursday, 6 May 2010

News from Cochabamba


Thursday 13 May 7.30pm
Baldwin Studio, Tricycle Theatre, 269 Kilburn High Road, NW6 7JR

Report-back from the People’s World Conference on Climate Change and
the Rights of Mother Earth, Cochabamba, Bolivia, 20 – 22 April
Thousands of activists from around the world took part in the People’s World Conference on Climate Change called by President Evo Morales of Bolivia after the failure of the Copenhagen talks. The conference brought together scientists, trade unionists, NGO’s and social movements to look for ways to build an alternative grassroots movement to protect the planet and fight for climate justice.
Mary Brodbin from Campaign Against Climate Change and Brent trade unionist Roger Cox took part and will report on what it achieved.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

UCU meeting to oppose closure of Kilburn College

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Last night's meeting about the closure of Kilburn College was crowded, angry and militant. Lecturers, students and local residents came together to denouce the closure plans and put forward ideas for active resistance. The main political party candidates for Hampstead and Kilburn spoke platitudes from the platform and soon disappeared.

Speaking from the floor, Peter Murry, an ex-lecturer at Kilburn and a council candidate for  the Brent Kilburn ward spoke passionately of this attack on local people who face challenges such as learning English and getting into employment. He outlined how further education could transform their lives and said that the removal of their access to education was a crime. He supported calls for non-violent direct action and remarked that such tactics were a proud Green Party tradition. He called for further education colleges to be brought back under local authority control.

Bea Campbell, Green Party parliamentary candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn, spoke about how further education had improved her parents' life chances and suggested that another dimension to the campaign should be a legal route.  She urged the campaign to seek legal assistance to use the recent Equalities legislation to show that the community had not been properly consulted on the proposals, (now a statutory requirement).

Students from the ethnic minority communites spoke movingly of their attachment to their local college and the difference it had made and was making in their lives. There were accounts of the shock they had felt when the announcement was made and their feelings of being completed disregarded by the college governors.

A large number of people, including Green Party members, volunteered to be part of a delegation to the college governors, to try and persuade then to reverse their decision.

Originally Posted by MARTIN FRANCIS at 11:25 AM mayady